We spent the week in Dalkey and I did a bit of cooking as Caroline was not feeling very well with a dreadful flu.

Maurice and I did go to Carrickmines and Dundrum to the large shopping centres and got some bargains. On Thursday we drove to Bellucci’s restaurant in Ballsbridge where we had a nice lunch. Friday we went back to Dundrum and then onto the lovely little villagle of Enniskerry and had lunch. The weather was changeable with rain and mist and then we had a heatwave 23degrees! for a couple of days.
On Saturday the 21st we set off for County Wicklow and Brigid O’Grady (Maurice’s cousin) and on the way down we stopped at Enniskerry again and we had a delicious lunch  at Powerscourt (a  stately castle) which has been very tastefully converted into the Avoca cafe and gift shop. We took Amber, Brigid’s  Leonberger dog for a walk around Avondale house and vast grounds and the river where Amber had a great time swimming after sticks thrown for her. Brigid has Amber and two lovely cats called Ted and Doogle.
We went up to the Motte Stone (a left over boulder from the ice age) but it was too dark for good photos so we decided to come back the next day. Eoin her son joined us and we had a lovely dinner and chat until about 2am.
On Sunday Brigid took us up again to the Motte stone where I got some good shots of it and the beautiful 360degree surrounding landscape and we then went on to Glendalough (the second
most visited spot in Ireland) which is a vast natural reserve consisting of lakes and mountains. It was a warm and sunny day and we went for a walk around the lake and then stopped on the way back  at the “Wicklow Heather” where we had a wonderful lunch.
Brigid then took us to the original Avoca handweavers where the last working mill in Ireland is found.  We left Brigid in the late afternoon and the misty rain had just started for the hour’s drive back to Dalkey.
On Monday Maurice and I caught the “dart” (train) into Dublin city and to the “Chester Beatty” library which is located within the grounds of Dublin castle.  They have an amazing collection of early manuscripts and books from around the world.  After wandering around town all afternoon we caught the dart which travels along the coast to Dalkey.

We made our way to Kilkenny to see and stay with Maurice’s nephew Padraig (pronounced Porrig) Irish for Patrick.  Kilkenny is a beautiful large town with interesting shops and a wealth of coffee shops and restaurants.  We had a very good meal at the “Italian Connection” restaurant.  Padraig lives in a laneway right of the main street and it is handy to everything.  We met his lovely girlfriend Kathryn and went to a local bar where we had a few drinks.  The next morning we headed for Cork which was a journey of about 2 1/2 hours by the time we got to Eileen and Chris’s place for lunch.  They live about 20minutes out of Cork in the country.  We had lunch with them and their son Chris and it was nice to catch up with them after them being in Australia 5years ago.

Maurice then wanted to find “Model Farm Road” where his grandfather and father studied dairying and butter, milk and cheese production.  The old buildings are gone and it is a large technology park now but it was nice to see the area.  From there we drove around town looking for a parking spot (difficult again because of height restrictions) and parking on the street asked for parkiing discs.  These turned out to be a form of parking tickets that you could buy from a convenience store so we got one and found a parking spot for the evening.  We ate a nice light Japanese meal in a restaurant opposite the “Everyman Theatre” where we met Paul (another of Maurice’s cousins) and Nell to see a production of “Orpheus”.  The building dated from 1896 and was a beautifully ornate  theatre.  The play was excellent and the choreographer did a great job incorporating the members of the small orchestra into the play where they moved onto and around the actors on the stage.   We followed Paul and Nell back to Clonmel where we spent a nice relaxing couple of days before heading down to Wexford on the 28th September.

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